Searching

Overfishing


If films can't be good, at least they can be laughably in love with how good they are.
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Reported on 8th of October, 2018

There are zero reasons to write about the we’re-so-desperate-for-a-win-we’re-going-to-give-it-a-93-on-the-tomatometer-wait-a-93?-I-thought-I-had-misread-it Searching. Other than to underline it is the hands-down winner of

Searching

27 September 2018 @ The Arclight Pasadena


-$2.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

§  §  §

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The Marc, that this year really does suck, and finally, gave rise to a new rule what we will call The Infernal Moment.

It would be easy to denigrate Searching as an overlong TV movie, but TV is good now. So that phrase has lost its meaning. Except, hold on, TV is overrated and awful in 2018, so let’s go back and call it a TV movie. Even though under that criterion it’s not really that good. So let’s call it a ninety minute local news segment.

Ah. Perfect.

A wildly sub-par version of the excellent Unfriended (the film, by the way, takes place entirely on a computer screen) it doesn’t know that movie exists, or acting, writing dialog, avoiding cliché, etc. It lives in a universe of my mom, who thinks that the iPad actually is the internet, and must be told to turn the magical phone box off and on (sorry Mom, but let’s be real. You’re never going to read this).

Our poor featureless everyfather lead (Mr. John Cho) has a missing daughter, and there is much to discover about his daughter’s life on the computer, but not so much that we lose sympathy or find out that she is a real person with believable problems. It is very slowly revealed that…she feels bad that her mom died.

Sigh.

At some point thereafter or therebefore I don’t really remember, and, slightly more advanced that my mom, Mr. Cho does a search on Facebook for his daughter’s name: Margot Kim. Significantly less advanced than my mom, the film reveals that Margot Kim gets only one result on Facebook. I found over a thousand, and then stopped looking. This is because Kim is the most common Korean name. I guess the film doesn’t know much about ‘nationalities’. Or ‘anything’.

The film, in its my-mom-style-ignorance, also doesn’t know that no one under fifty uses Facebook, that google has a reverse image search, or that there is such a thing as catfishing. They should at least know this because it was a movie that came out eight years ago. It was called…something or other. You’d have to have some kind of database tied to an interconnected network of computers to find it.

This is made especially evident in the dialog, and I quote:

Ms. Messing
They transferred the funds to something less monitored.
Mr. Cho
Where?
Ms. Messing.
The internet.

That’s dialog from the film, by the way. I don’t know what the internet is, but I know it’s scary! I would tell them it’s a series of tubes, but I’d be afraid they’d ask me ‘what diameter?’

Beyond that, still another film all about the reveal. Not unlike Agatha Christie, anyone can be a suspect, and then be dismissed. Unlike Agatha Christie, which is merely impenetrable, the way anyone can be a suspect is just boneheaded incompetence on the part of the police, who forget to look at photos, let fathers run investigations and so on.

So we have an illegal Malaysian trawler registered in Panama full of red herrings until, 1) a junkie unconvincingly confesses on the internet so we can see it in the conceit that everything must take place on a computer screen (the way the film handles this is brilliant: it puts things that would otherwise not be on a computer screen…on a computer screen!), 2) a body is not found, meaning Case Closed, right audience?, 3) it turns out that Ms. Debra Messing did it because no one is left, and 3) Ms. Messing actually is in a framed picture with the killer, something the police would never think to check.

What I’ll remember most? That it cost SEVENTEEN BUCKS. Also, in the land of The Savage, there are no chocolatiers anywhere near the cinema. In retrospect, should have smuggled in some orange chicken from P.F. Changs.

It was at that point, laughing out loud and typing loudly, grateful that there were a lot of typing sounds actually in the film’s soundtrack to cover the noise (it requires a lot of keyboard taps to get news broadcasts on the screen in order to get some exposition in there. Something we all naturally do) because I had forgotten my rubber silence pad, that I realized what kind of film it was. I was watching Inferno again, and I was giggling.

That Infernal Moment, and I’m sure these are not the only two films that contain it, is when you’re watching a terrible, terrible film, and something so stupid happens, you just ease into the love. When it is revealed that the daughter is possibly alive (because it rained on Monday, something only the father seems to know. That the police don’t look at evidence, or photographs, or follow procedure is kind of fun. But when they can’t tell if something is wet, you know you’ve got a winner), I was finally set free.

It was at this point that there was an unconvincing ad for some type of medication: ‘Take charge with Zyplar’ (I guess because our erstwhile filmmakers hadn’t heard of adblockers). I became convinced that the corporate baddies who made Zyplar would suddenly be revealed to Be Behind It All. Though sad that this did not turn out to be the case, I was happy enough that it could have happened.

If films can’t be good, at least they can be laughably in love with how good they are.

The Take

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Profits!
Well, as police, we know that fathers have never been involved with their daughter’s disappearance. So let’s send them the traffic footage. Just in case he didn’t do it!
$1.00
Having the Ms. Michelle La play the-ball-peen-in-the-groin music cues from the score on the toy piano right before her mother dies
$1.00
No one will be admitted during the realtime ‘your account is being verified’ scene. It’s like watching a progress bar, because it’s watching a progress bar.
$1.00
Total Profits
$3.00
Losses!
Everything I just said was actually eye-ripping to watch
$3.00
I’ve said it before: everyman characters are boring as shit. Give them a trait. Just one. It’s all I ask.
$2.00
Total Losses
$5.00

-$2.00

Thoughts on Searching

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  1. Dorothée says:

    Very funny, thank you Chat but … poor Suzi!!!!

  2. Marie antoinette says:

    I don’t know how you do it. And you don’t know how they do it. However, everyone is entertained, one way or another. This is crucial in the land of savages. Bon matin.

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